This much I know about…improving both my teaching and my students’ learning, the sequel!

johntomsett

I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about improving both my teaching and my students’ learning…the sequel!

There is no universal panacea to cure all teaching and learning ills. I find that teachers will sometimes adopt any new teaching tip which promises instant improvement of their students’ learning. I remember five years ago watching the following recording of Dylan Wiliam espousing the effectiveness of tasking students to design their own test questions. The next morning I walked the school and found three different teachers following Wiliam’s advice…with no improvement in learning whatsoever because the students had not been taught the complexities of constructing questions.

To construct test questions requires a deep understanding of how questions are structured. Back in October I posted a piece on how I had changed the way I…

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Great Teaching – Great Teachers

Class Teaching

great teacher quote We spend a great deal of time talking about great teaching at DHS – not outstanding or good teaching, but great teaching. It’s a regular topic of conversation between Andy Tharby and me.  We’ve come to the following conclusions:

  • There’s no prescribed ‘right’ way of teaching.
  • If it gets the right outcomes for the students, then it ‘works’.
  • There’s a great deal to be learnt from those teachers who have truly mastered the craft of the classroom, such as Mr Clarke & Pam McCulloch.
  • There’s a large number of myths around, about what works.
  • It’s worth combining the wisdom of these great teachers with the research evidence base about what makes great teaching.
  • From this wisdom and evidence, there appears to be some firm pedagogical principles that appear to contribute to great teaching.  We’ve summarised them here:

expert pub We’ve then tried to come up with prompts for each of these pedagogical principles to…

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